The U-18 Tier II Renegades indoor soccer team captured a gold medal in their provincial bout for the second year in a row last Sunday.
The Renegades faced their season rivals the CNS Strikers out of Calgary in the final match held at the Collicutt Centre over the past weekend.
Despite having lost to the Strikers 5-4 in November the Renegades wrangled a 4-1 win to get themselves a consecutive provincial gold title.
Renegades Head Coach, Ado Sarcevic believes the big win was due largely in part to the intense training and practicing his team has undergone since their loss to the Strikers in November.
“Just from November in those few short months until now the level of training and maturing the boys have undergone to prepare for this weekend is huge,” said Sarcevic. “Usually the provincials is a little tighter of a game than that but I think our team really just peaked at the right time in their season.”
Sarcevic explained he and the team were nervous going into their final match, despite a 6-1 blow-out against the Medicine Hat Rattlers Soccer Club in the semi-finals the day before.
“It was a nervous game right until the end but we didn’t give them the opportunity to score after their first goal,” said Sarcevic. “You never know what can happen, but by the fourth goal we knew we could relax a bit but we never once stopped playing our best game.”
Things can change quickly in a game of boarded soccer which has walls around the field, which the girls U-18 Tier II Renegades team discovered first hand in their semi-final match over the weekend as well.
Despite being down 3-0 in the first half of play, the girls came back to win the game 5-3 which advanced them to the final bout alongside their male counterparts where they too were able to win a provincial gold.
“Whatever happens on the field you need to play that 50 minutes fully through because there’s always the chance to come back,” said Sarcevic. “Just because you’re up a few goals that doesn’t mean the game is over.”
The Renegades captain, 18-year-old Theoren Gill was the team’s top scorer of the tournament, in which he netted himself six goals. Gill was among the seven Renegades on the team to return and win back-to-back provincial gold medals.
Other top scoring Renegades included Eduardo Morales with four goals, Jitse Vandenhadelkamp with three goals, and Ajdin Sarcevic with three goals as well.
Ado added assistant coach for the team, Steve Fullarton – head coach of the Red Deer College Kings soccer team – was a big help to the team in achieving their provincial title this year.
Fullarton and Ado, who is also operations manager for the Red Deer City Soccer Association, have developed an excellent working relationship between their two teams and help to assist one another in coaching.
“The relationship between the two teams is very beneficial,” said Ado. “The players graduating from youth soccer get the chance to see where they could go and it gives him a chance to see what the kids have on the field and maybe earn themselves a scholarship.”
While provincials mark the end of the indoor soccer season, Ado and his team are looking forward to the upcoming outdoor season. Tryouts for all youth soccer teams take place over the next few weeks, in which he invites kids of all ages to get involved with one of the many leagues Red Deer has to offer.
For tryout dates visit www.rdcsa.ca or for more information call the Red Deer City Soccer Association at 403-352-1354.